I recently finished reading Soseki Natsume’s I Am a Cat, and shortly after I finished, Findus handed me the below reflections and insisted I publish them for him. So here you go.
I am a Cat. The name they’ve given me is Findus. It’s as good a name as any, I guess; occasionally, I’ll even look at them when they call me. They took me in when I was very young, so I’m grateful for that. I call them Whiskers and the Plant Lady.
They got new sofas a few months ago. At first, it was really scary because all these men came into the house to take away the sticky brown furniture and then other men came and dropped off the biggest boxes in the whole world. I went and hid under the covers of the bed for a while, but then Whiskers and the Plant Lady started putting the new sofa together and I thought it looked interesting.
They kept shooing me away so I sat in one of the big boxes. It was bigger than all the food I’m ever going to eat. I don’t know how they got it through the door, but this cardboard palace was so spacious I could run circles inside it without ever bumping into a wall. It smelled kind of woodish.
When they finally had the couches put together, I had to sniff them and realized that they were a lot more comfortable than the other ones. I like the arm-rests because they’re flat and make for excellent perches. And napping spots.
A few weeks ago, they took the plastic tree down again that they’d only just put up. They do this every year, hang all these shiny toys on it that we’re not allowed to play with, then take it back down. The best parts are the string and the box. The whole tree fits into the box, which is silly because I also fit into the box. And they use a string to tie it all up, which is great fun to follow. Plus, it both amuses and frustrates Whiskers.
It’s the only plant that isn’t on the balcony or the Holy Kitchen. Probably because it’s the only one I won’t eat. Pixel tries tied to eat the plastic tree a few times, constantly going back and then spitting out the little green bits. Silly little brother. They’re not nearly as fun as the real ones on the balcony.
There’s a little cactus on the table out there, which has this alluring orange bulb on the top. I know it’s spiney, but it just looks like it would fit into my mouth. I ate a cactus once…at least part of it. Not super tasty, but somehow very satisfying. It’s a great way to get their attention. If they try to ignore me, I get real close to a cactus (or one of the airplants hanging out there) and open my mouth. It certainly gets the Plant Lady’s attention.
One time, I caught a bat. The wonderfully predictable sun had set as usual, the humans had turned on all the lights and I’d been fed only a little late. I’d already made two rounds of the living room and was just settling down on the fuzzy red carpet when it happened.
The bat flew right in through the open balcony door, then immediately back out the other one and completed that circle a few times. After that, as though it can’t see or something, it got stuck and whirred around in consecutive figure eights, which I attempted to follow. Unfortunately, it kept flying around so high up that I couldn’t get to it and it was so fast it didn’t really give me the option to jump at it.
The fan decided to lend a helping paw and swatted the pesky bat out of the air for me. It dropped like a pen pushed off the table and I was right on it. That little bat was so squirmy and wiggly and kept trying to get away. Why can’t the humans get me toys like the bat instead of those squeaky mice? With Pixel in tow, I took my treasure and tried to run into my nap room to properly play with it.
Then Whiskers got angry. I mean he doesn’t usually move quickly or speak loudly, but now he was running after me, trying to swat at my tail, yelling something about letting go and me getting sick. I didn’t feel sick, but wouldn’t let up. He followed me into my nap room, so I tried running into the human’s sleeping room, but he kept after me. So I scurried back under the dining table, but that’s when he got me, grabbed my scruff—very ungently—and made me spit the bat out.
Not sure what Whiskers did with it because he put me in the nap room and closed the door. Maybe he wanted to eat it himself. They sometimes put food on the fire or in pots and frying pans, so perhaps he was hungry. When he finally let me back out, I tried sniffing around for it under the table, but it was gone.
Next time, I’ll make sure to catch the bat when Whiskers isn’t looking so he can’t take my toy away.
I’m going to go check the food bowl again. I know it was empty, but maybe if I let out just a little yowl, they’ll take pity on me. I tell Whiskers the bowl is empty and he just responds that it isn’t time yet. They have this weird fixation with the clock on the wall; don’t they understand that food doesn’t work that way?
I have learned though that the meowing doesn’t really work well. My new tactic is to just keep bothering them. Rather than annoying them with noise, I just go sit on them. Both Plant Lady and Whiskers have pretty good laps and they seem to like it when I sit on them. I’ve tried to convince Pixel that it’s a great way to get their attention, but he likes his feet on the ground.
Occasionally, they have their electronic devices there, or these books that they’re constantly reading. But if I nudge long enough, using the corners to scratch my jaw, they’ll eventually give in. And if I sit on them and purr long enough, they’ll usually refill my food bowl.
Maybe I’ll go to the balcony and take a nap in the sun. Or bother Whiskers at whatever ‘important’ task he seems to be working on now.
In which I try to eat a highlighter